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The Observer Paper 11/26/14

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LOVING THE EXPERIENCE: Kimberly Larkin was crowned Queen this weekend. (Artistic Photography).
LOVING THE EXPERIENCE: Kimberly Larkin was crowned Queen this weekend. (Artistic Photography).

It has not even sunk in for Kimberly Larkin, 18, that she is the Elgin Stampede Rodeo Queen.

"It is ... (laughs) ... it hasn't really hit me yet," she said.

Larkin, who is from Summerville, was crowned Saturday.

"I'm really excited," she continued.

"I guess it will hit me when the rodeo comes this weekend. It is an honor."

Larkin said she has always wanted to be on the Rodeo Court. Her aunt, Jeanne (Larkin) Rachau, was a princess on the Blue Mountain Court.

"Rodeo is my favorite sport," she said. "I do a lot of trail riding."

Larkin has been a member of 4-H for six years, where she is the president and teen leader for the Indian Valley group.

She owns six horses and will be riding her chaperone's horse on the rodeo court. Larkin loves to hunt deer and elk.

Larkin attends Imbler High School.

Brittany Thibodeau, a junior at Elgin, is also on the court.

Thibodeau has wanted to be a part of the court for a long time.

"I've always wanted to, since I was little," she said. "I always wanted to ride a horse and wear fancy clothes."

She wants to be riding her horse in front of everyone.

She is involved with FFA, FBLA, 4-H and track.

"I ride a lot," she said. "Like everyday with my little sisters, actually."

She has two sisters, ages 12 and 9. Thibodeau said they all take turns riding horses.

She has six horses and will be riding "Drifter" this weekend.

"I'm looking forward to carrying flags and chasing cows out of the arena and getting to see the cowboys," she said.

Thibodeau likes to do barrel racing, pole bending and cow hide racing with her little sister.

As for bull riding, "I would like to," she said.

She rode a steer once.

"It's (Rodeo) definitely my favorite sport to watch," she said.

The Elgin Stampede Rodeo kicks off Friday with the Mark Nichols Memorial Bull Riding.

— Raenelle Kwock


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